Igniting Innovation: Tips, Sparks and Ideas for Acting on Innovation

Why don’t my employees want to do anything?

Posted by Brad Hall on Nov 12, 2015 10:30:02 AM

Human resources is one of our most valuable tools in today’s business world but leveraging that tool to it’s fullest potential can seem like an impossible task. 

During the daily grind your employees fulfill their duties and go about their day and all is good.  But, when you want to do something new be it innovation or just a new project that same motivation and work ethic just isn’t there. 

While something as diverse as the human condition can’t be answered in a employee motivationsingle solution these 4 tips will get you started in having truly motivated employees that put forth their full effort.  They will even help to motivate those lazy millennials that are starting to show up everywhere.

  1. Create a clear definition of what you’re looking for.  What is the outcome that you want from this project or the company as a whole?  If employees know what the end goal is then there is something for them to work towards and they don’t have to stumble around in the dark hoping they come across the right path.
  2. Define what you’re NOT looking for.  Almost more important than having a clear end goal is defining what you don’t want.  By doing this employees know the boundaries and can work within them.  When given the opportunity people will seek out things they care about and they’ll put more effort in.  But, it’s important that the effort isn’t wasted just because you didn’t define where the sidelines are.
  3. Be specific on what the hard limits are.  How much time and or money can be spent?  How much impact should the project have?  If you’re working on a project knowing the hard limits directs how you work and enables you to go as far as possible.  Getting halfway through then having to shut down a project because you’ve gone over the unstated budget will kill motivation on any future projects.
  4. And by far the most important; get out of the way and allow your employees to do the work you hired them to do.  One of the worst things you can do for motivation is to prescribe everything that your employees to do.  They’re the experts in their content area and they know more about it than you do.  The best thing you can do is give them the destination, guidelines, and let them loose to do what they think is best based on their expertise.

The first step to motivating your employees is enabling them to do the work their experts at.  To see it first hand the next time you’re working on your hobby and starting a new project follow this process.  Before you start set out the path forward just like you would for an employee and experience what it’s like to work under them.

Topics: innovation, leadership, strategy

Brad Hall

Written by Brad Hall

Brad is Brand Manager at Eureka! Ranch with a true passion for education. As an Innovation Engineering educator, he is not only an executive education instructor, but has also taught Innovation Engineering for more then a few years at a university level while getting his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering and while working on his Masters in Education. Brad is infamous in the Innovation Engineering community for being tough on all his students, no matter their age or job title. He routinely provides diversity and a critical eye to teams creating and improving ideas for innovative products, services, and systems Brad is an avid gamer who lives in the heart of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Welcome to the first blog from the Eureka! Ranch and Innovation Engineering Institute team.  Here you will find a diverse group of innovators dedicated to changing the world by transforming innovation from a random gamble to a reliable system that delivers increased innovation speed and decreased risk.


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